Ambulance chiefs urge residents to observe social distancing during VE Day celebrations

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The West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) is urging residents to celebrate VE Day on Friday in ways which don’t increase their risk of transmitting coronavirus.

The service itself is planning to pay its respects to all those who helped achieve Victory in Europe 75 years ago by falling silent for two minutes at 11am, but is pushing home the message that people need to continue observing social distancing measures during the event.

WMAS chief executive, Anthony Marsh, said: “We all owe a huge debt to the brave men and women that helped shape the country we now live in.

“However, we all now face our own challenge in beating Corona Virus.  Our staff will be celebrating VE75 at work and in their homes, but while we are remembering the heroes of the Second World War, it is vitally important that we all continue to practise social distancing and abide by the guidelines around gatherings.”

Trust Medical Director, Dr Alison Walker, said: “There is no question that people following the advice to “Stay Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives” has done a great job in flattening the curve and getting us over the initial peak of Covid-19 infections.

“But sadly, several hundred people are still dying every single day from this dreadful virus.  Each time I go to work I see the devastating effect these deaths have on the patient’s friends and family.

“There are thousands of new cases in England each day; we are nowhere near done with this pandemic. We therefore need to keep up the great work even though it’s difficult for such long periods.

“The risk of easing off too soon is that we will see a second wave of cases and sadly, more deaths.

“Thank you so much for staying at home, it will save lives and protect our amazing NHS, social care staff and other essential workers across the West Midlands and beyond.”

Mr Marsh added: “As a Trust we are proud to have many former and serving military staff working with us.  Over 3% of our workforce belong to the military family with many still playing an active part in the likes of the Reserves.

“We absolutely recognise that our ethos is very similar to that of the armed forces with a similar type of camaraderie.  We would welcome anyone who thinks switching to the ambulance service could be the right move for them.”